My name is Galyna Didenko.
I live in Bedford now, and it wasn’t my plan. Just before the War, our family visited my daughter and her family who live here, and our return to Kyiv was canceled because of the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the flight cancellation.
When war started, for a long time we lived according to Kyiv time zone, we couldn’t let go of our phones, listening to all air raid alarms together with our friends in Ukraine. Our son was studying online together with his schoolmates, and every night he woke up at 3 am for his lessons, and his teachers gave their lessons from all over Europe, where they were evacuated.
And from the first months here in Bedford, we saw these tiny boards, Bedford4Ukraine. Back then I had no idea who these guys were.
Those were terrible months of Russian troops advancing deep into Ukraine, almost to Kyiv, horrendous Bucha, and the mass evacuation and relocation of civilians from Ukraine to Europe. The overcrowded trains and shelters with women, children, older adults, dogs, and cats in baskets remained forever in people's memory.
And all this time, amazing strong courageous Brian and John, helped those who stayed in Ukraine and helped refugees as well. They collected money, flew, drove, got there, and did everything they could. They bought, packaged, and transported to exactly where it was needed, what was needed more than anything else.
Few months later, Russia made desperate attempt to break the will of Ukrainian people by breaking the power supply, heating, and water supply systems. They began bombing Ukraine civilians right at the beginning of winter.
But they failed.
Ukrainian people became very well-organized, as never before.
My friends told me in one hour of electricity being on, they managed to cook food, boil water and fill thermoses, wash, vacuum, charge all the batteries, do all the homework with kids, wash dry hair and be ready for the following hours of the shutdown. Of course, they tried to stay optimistic.
And at this critical time for survival, Brian and John also appeared next to them. They bought generators, emergency lighting, and batteries. They worked hard to help people survive.
This War has been going for 14 months now.
I cannot thank enough Bedford community for supporting my country, Ukraine. Nowadays, the War in Ukraine territory is a real-time scene of the ancient battle between good and evil. And your choice of good side makes this fight possible. And I believe your choice will contribute not only to reduce struggle but to the victory as well.
From the bottom of my heart, thank you!